Dairy-Free Coconut Frozen Custard: No Ice Cream Maker Required!


This Dairy-Free Coconut Frozen Custard recipe is adapted from a recipe that was originally shared with us by the online Thai supermarket, ImportFood.com many years ago. They actually call it Thai Ice Cream, due to the pure coconut influence. But we call it frozen custard due to the ingredients and preparation.

Dairy-Free Coconut Frozen Custard Recipe without an Ice Cream Maker!

Dairy-Free Coconut Frozen Custard: No Ice Cream Maker Required!

What makes this recipe frozen custard? Ice cream is made from milk and cream, but frozen custard is made with milk, cream, and eggs. This provides a richer, more emulsified consistency. Also, ice cream is typically churned with an ice cream maker, which whips in more air to give the frozen dessert a lighter mouthfeel. But frozen custard is made with a method that doesn’t incorporate much air, so it’s denser.

Because home ice cream makers don’t churn as much air into ice cream as commercial ones, you can churn this mixture in an ice cream maker if desired. It will still have that nice, dense consistency of rich frozen custard.

Dairy-Free Coconut Frozen Custard Recipe without an Ice Cream Maker!

Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Coconut Frozen Custard

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

For an egg-free and vegan version, enjoy this Basic Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you are not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?

Dairy-Free Coconut Frozen Custard
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This classic recipe uses a traditional dairy-free ingredient for frozen custard, eggs, but we have provided an alternate recipe in the post above. Please note that the Prep time does not include freezing times.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: about 1 quart / 8 servings
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1 cup coconut milk beverage (can sub water or another milk beverage)
  • 2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or rosewater (optional)
  • Pinch salt
  1. Sauté the coconut in a skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted.
  2. Heat the coconut milk or cream and coconut milk beverage in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until hot but not boiling. This should take just a few minutes.
  3. In a small bowl beat the eggs and yolks. Gently whisk in the sugar, vanilla or rosewater, and salt.
  4. Transfer the egg mixture to a double boiler over gently boiling water. Slowly whisk in the hot coconut milk, stirring until the mixture thickens to form a continuous slightly sticky coat on the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Stir in the toasted coconut.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a metal ice cream tray or similar container and place it in the coldest part of the freezer for 1 hour.
  7. Remove to a food processor and beat slowly until smooth. Pack the soft ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze until set.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ recipe Calories: 249 Fat: 17.5g Saturated fat: 14.3g Carbohydrates: 22.8g Sugar: 21g Sodium: 46mg Fiber: 1.6g Protein: 3.5g Cholesterol: 93mg

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Do I use just the thick cream portion to canned coconut milk? Or should I stir the contents of the can all together and use that to make 2 cups?

    • You can do either. If you want it creamier, just use the cream. If you don’t want it as coconutty, stir and use all. If you don’t want any waste, but want it creamier, you can use it stirred, and use more coconut milk in place of the coconut milk beverage, if that makes sense 🙂 With ice cream, I personally use the whole can, not just the cream portion.

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